August 9, 2021 | By:

6 Internal Linking Tips to Boost Your SEO Ranking

Links serve as a beacon for both search engines and users to find your content. Google, in particular, has emphasized the importance of link structure in SEO. Links play a crucial role in helping search engine bots find and understand your content, as well as in determining its value.

Internal vs. External Links and SEO

There are two types of links: internal and external. External links, as the term suggests, are links that point to a domain outside of your website. Internal links, on the other hand, are links that direct to pages within your website.

From an SEO standpoint, external links are considered more important because it gives search engines an idea of how popular you are. However, it’s also harder to manipulate—with internal links, you are in full control.

Internal links are not only for the “benefit” of search engine bots; it also contributes to your site’s overall page experience. With a good internal linking structure, users can navigate your website with ease, ultimately giving search engines the idea that your website is of high value.

How do you make an effective internal linking strategy to boost your SEO ranking?

6 Internal Linking Best Practices

1. Audit your site’s structure and content

If you haven’t done so, make a thorough audit of all your site’s content. This will help you see the structure and architecture of your website much clearer, and you can determine which blog article links are related to one another.

A well-organized website typically has the following “ideal” site structure—imagine a pyramid with the Homepage at the top:

  • Homepage
  • Categories/sections
  • Subcategories (if applicable; usually for larger websites)
  • Individual pages and posts
2. Add navigational links

It’s important to provide a clear navigational path for your website, be it a classic multi-hierarchical site or a single-page one. You can do this in two ways:

  • Menu – Adding links to subpages and individual posts from the Homepage. The menu usually reflects only the main categories for simpler navigation, but you can also opt to have a secondary menu if your website is more complex.
  • Breadcrumb trail – Breadcrumbs are links usually visible at the top of a page, showing visitors where they are on your website. Some websites opt not to use this, while some others use this in combination with a navigational menu.
3. Link hierarchical pages

As a related point to navigational links, it’s best practice to link parent pages to child pages, as well as sibling pages to one another. As the terms suggest, parent pages are the main categories and child and sibling pages are the subcategories. Having a thorough site audit will greatly help you with this.

Linking hierarchical pages help search engines determine the connections between your content and the context of each based on their related pages. If you’re using WordPress, plugins like Yoast SEO would make it quite easy to connect hierarchical pages.

4. Include contextual links in your blog articles

Contextual links are those pointing users to related content. Linking these in your articles will help users find relevant topics in your blog much easier, ultimately boosting SEO as users spend more time on your website.

An important aspect of contextual linking is the right anchor text. Anchor texts are simply texts on a page with a clickable hyperlink. SEO-friendly anchor text should be:

  • Descriptive and relevant to the linked content: The anchor text should accurately describe what the linked content is about. This sends stronger relevance signals to search engine bots.
  • Low keyword density: Don’t overoptimize your content; it’s acceptable to use keywords as your anchor text, but they should appear naturally in your copy.
  • Concise: There is no exact ideal number of words for a good anchor text, but it’s best not to use whole sentences, as it makes your content harder to read. A good practice is to limit it to 1 to 4 words.
5. Add links to categories and tags

Another way for users to easily discover related content within your website is to add links to your taxonomies—your post categories and tags.

Categories differ from tags, in that categories are more hierarchical while tags don’t follow a hierarchy. Think of tags as similar to social media hashtags. Using both taxonomies help in better organizing your content and provides a more logical overview of your website.

6. Strike a good balance

Too much of anything isn’t good, and the same principle rings true to the number of internal links, considering that the Penguin algorithm update is now an essential part of Google’s core algorithm.

While there is no magic number, our best advice is to balance the number of internal links depending on what would be most helpful to your audience. SEO plugins also consider the overall word count and percentage of keywords, internal and external links, and other factors, to gauge whether you’re not overdoing anything. Yoast SEO is yet another great tool to check this.

Need help with your on-page SEO?

Internal linking is but one of the many strategies involved in on-page SEO. If you need any help with any of your search engine optimization needs—from audits, analysis, content creation, to planning and implementation—Ilfusion is here to help.

We have SEO professionals with years of experience in the industry, as well as a whole suite of other services to help you with your digital marketing. You can reach us at 888-420-5115, or send us an email at [email protected] to get started.

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